Darth Vader is a busy man. Or Force Ghost. Last year, Disney announced that Hayden Christensen will appear as Darth Vader in the upcoming Obi-Wan Kenobi, which is set ten years after the Star Wars prequels. But that’s not the only old friend he’ll be hanging out with: Christensen will also play his famous role in Ahsoka, the upcoming spinoff about his former padawan (played by Rosario Dawson), which is set five years after Return of the Jedi.
In Obi-Wan’s time, Vader is still alive. In Ahsoka’s, not so much. So: flashbacks or Force Ghost?
Of course, the other answer is simply why not both? Both shows have the potential to delve into a lot of emotional fallout and betrayal. Obi-Wan lost his friend to the Dark Side; Ahsoka lost her master. Both faced Anakin-turned-Vader later in their stories—Obi-Wan on the Death Star, and Ahsoka in Star Wars Rebels‘ second-season finale, “Twilight of the Apprentice.”
Vader’s presence in Obi-Wan’s story was almost inevitable, given the timeframe. But Ahsoka is another matter. The series finale of The Clone Wars did an incredible job of closing out the story of Anakin and Ahsoka without ever putting Darth Vader and his onetime apprentice on screen at the same time. Timeline-wise, the end of Clone Wars obviously happened long before Rebels (which is largely set a few years before A New Hope). But it aired later, and it felt like their finale, their closure. In two snow-covered scenes, Clone Wars showed the tragedy of Darth Vader with greater resonance than anything the prequels ever managed.
Ahsoka won’t change that. But I’m still a little wary of dragging Vader back into Ahsoka’s life. Isn’t she going to be plenty busy searching for Thrawn and Ezra? Hasn’t she had enough where Jedi are concerned?
Ahsoka will eventually air on Disney+, but is not yet in production.